Joshua Drain, Chef at Catholic Healthcare’s Gertrude Abbott and the Sister Anne Court Aged Care, attended a ‘Creating an Appetite for Life’ Masterclass in Sydney late last year and is now putting ideas and inspirations into the meals he prepares daily.
Between the two aged care homes, Joshua and his team of 12, prepare meals and snacks for 168 residents. Following the Masterclass, Joshua sourced a new, more cost-effective provider who is supplying fresh fish such as barramundi, ling, gurnard, parrot fish and cod. As a result, fresh lightly fried fish is now a new favourite meal with the residents.
“By using this new supplier, Foodlink, I have been able to free up funds so we can purchase fresh fish,” says Joshua.
“In aged care, meals are often the highlight of the day so they need to be appetising, nutritious and present well.
“At the Masterclass I was inspired by the Texture Modified Food component which looked at how we can improve the visual and physical elements of meals. You look and smell a meal before eating it so putting the extra effort into making purees and minces more presentable has improved the dining experience of our residents.”
Joshua is also engaging more with residents about the daily menu and what meals are more popular.
“There have also been requests for cultural food experiences,” Joshua adds. “We have a number of Filipino residents so a we had a request for Adobo, a traditional Filipino dish, which we added to the summer menu.
“I have been working as a cook in aged care for 23 years. The Masterclass was really enjoyable and motivating. It’s very satisfying to see residents enjoying the fresh fish and providing such positive feedback to the team.”